What is a Cardiac Catheterization (Cath)?
Cardiac catheterization (Cath) is a procedure, also known as a arteriogram. A slender tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin or wrist and guided through the arteries into the heart where the coronary arteries are visualized by injecting a "contrast dye." X-rays are taken to monitor the dye as it flows through the arteries. This allows the cardiologist to visualize the coronary arteries to determine if the arteries narrow or are blocked by build-up of plaque which can restrict blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart.
The lab features digital catheterization technology that produces images of the heart designed to help doctors make better decisions about treating heart disease. In the Heart Center’s cath lab, a dedicated cath lab team, which includes a number of specially trained technicians and nurses who assist physicians with a variety of treatment procedures support cardiologists on the medical staff.
In an effort to measure the heart’s general condition, the Diagnostics Cardiology Laboratory conducts an exercise stress test, which is a general screening tool to test the effect of exercise on the heart. During the test, the electrical activity of the heart is measured while the patient walks on a treadmill or receives a medication infusion. This measures the heart's reaction to the body's increased demand for oxygen.
There are several types of stress tests performed at Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake. Some tests use a mildly radioactive dye that allows physicians to see where the heart is not getting enough blood supply while the patient is exercising, while others use medications to simulate exercise if the patient is unable to use the treadmill.
Another test performed at Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake is an echocardiogram, a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than X-ray image and involves no radiation exposure.
Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake uses a device called a stent, a wire mesh tube, to help keep an artery open after an angioplasty. The stent stays permanently in the artery. Among the stents used include an advanced drug-eluting stent designed to reduce or eliminate the scar tissue that can sometimes form within an artery causing that artery to renarrow.
Patients at Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake with congestive heart failure can also benefit from implanted pacemaker technology that helps the pumping chamber of the heart work more efficiently.
Cath Lab Services Include:
- Permanent Pacemaker Placement
- Cardiac Catheterization (diagnostic)
- Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
- Coronary Stenting
- EP Studies
- Radio Frequency Ablation